By QkweQkwe WordWizard
- Maretha Botes
Over the past twelve months the NFT scene has evolved rapidly, making it difficult to ignore the buzz. We’ve seen Hollywood, sports celebrities, and huge brands like Coca-Cola, Gucci, Nike, and Adidas made their dent in the space, giving NFTs a different level of exclusivity. However, it is also a space where the fine arts are flourishing. For the first time the playing field of the arts world is levelled. Not only are NFTs opening doors to artists who might have struggled getting their art sold through traditional methods in the past, it is giving artists control over sales.
A new survey conducted by Yodeck suggests the value of NFT art is following a similar trajectory to traditional art. More companies and individual collectors now see NFTs as a way to decorate their office spaces and homes, just as they once did with traditional art. For the artist NFTs hold the power to decentralize and democratize wealth and offer access to new revenue streams. Without intermediaries having their slice of the pie, selling art NFTs has become a lucrative way for artists to earn and keep earning on their work.
So, should you invest?
Absolutely, says Anna Ogutogullari, founder of QkweQkwe.io, NFT marketplace for African artists. She is a firm believer in curated art and putting credibility and artistic intent first. And this is what you as a buyer should keep in mind, too. QkweQkwe.io is the first NFT marketplace for contemporary African art. “It (QkweQkwe.io) is a platform where collectors in the global marketplace will have access to some of the top creators on the African continent,” says Anna. Each artist has been hand-picked by a curator, ensuring unique, high-quality art from celebrated and up and coming artists from Africa. QkweQkwe also acts as a directory of proof of ownership, adding value for buyers of physical artwork, and bridging the divide between physical and digital artworlds. When someone buys a physical artwork at one of QkweQkwe’s affiliated art galleries, the purchase includes an NFT of the artwork. The NFT is logged on Qkweqkwe’s directory, as a proof of ownership record. The buyer of the artwork and owner of the NFT can decide to put the NFT up for sale, independent of the physical artwork, or keep it as their record of proof of ownership.
NFTs’ values are based on what someone else is willing to pay for it. Demand will drive the price rather than fundamental, technical, or economic indicators, which typically influence stock prices and at least generally form the basis for investor demand. Says Modesta Masoit, head of research at Yodeck, “NFTs have undoubtedly captured the popular imagination over the past year, as reflected in headlines, in celebrity and corporate purchases, in the $25 billion sales volume in 2021, vs a now minute $97 million in 2020. They will continue to gain steam as we enter the age of the metaverse and gamification, and as web3 gradually displaces the centralized version of the internet we now use. But this doesn’t necessarily translate into an understanding of NFTs and the vast opportunities the underlying technology presents. There are so many ways in which blockchain technology can be utilized and adapted to different purposes, and the creation, display and use of commercial and corporate art is one of them.”
TokenAngels is an Italian collector who comes from a family of art collectors and owns the historically significant Homer Pepe NFT. In an interview with Artsy (a New York City based online art brokerage) he said the value of collecting is linking your name to an artist or a work. It is timestamping a special moment; expressing yourself and telling the world who you are. “It means supporting a cause, an idea, or a human. NFTs empower both the artists and collectors; that’s the real revolution. Try to find those artists that are real, whose works you imagine will have an impact and be remembered in the future—those that are taking risks and especially those that still find time to talk to you and explain their work,” says TokenAngels.
The baseline is NFTs are worth the money, whether you want to buy for the pleasure of owning a thing of beauty, or as an investment that could create future revenue. The current momentum suggests that the applications of blockchain technology in the arts will only continue to grow.